Digital Transformation: Selling to the Digital Native Modern Buyer
By Brad Harris - September 23, 2016
How do you market your offering to the digitally native modern buyer? Differentiating your business from the storm of competitors found so easily online is tough… which is why transformation is needed to successfully market yourself into the digital space.
We all know it. The good old days are over. When marketing meant simply delivering branded merchandise across your network, the world was made up of a different kind of customer. Those customers appreciated the personal, one-on-one approach of meeting with a salesman to get the deal sealed within the hour. But, now we’re dealing with a new kind of customer, and your business has to adapt or die. We're talking about digital transformation.
As our latest eBook states, “the days of mugs and pens are over. The Internet has given the B2B landscape a complete makeover, and only those who are able to meet the challenge will survive.”
Survival comes in two key areas: 1) understanding your modern buyer, and 2) reacting to them. Are you positioned to respond to the challenge?
Digital Natives: Who is Your Modern Buyer?
The Internet has changed things. Before people could Google their way out of any problem, customers were relatively uninformed. The buyer’s journey was like a bowling alley, being linear, goal-focused and having a short life span that came alive as soon as the buyer recognised their need.
Today, the buyer’s journey could seem like one big mess on first glance. Why? Because the Internet allows information to be freely available and provided in excess. Modern customers have a plethora of reviews, case studies, testimonials, inside information and competitor details on hand at any moment. The trigger that sets the B2B buyer’s journey off can be completely random. But once that trigger has been set off, the modern buyer isn’t after a quick seal to their deal… no, they begin a long journey of in-depth research and studies. The era of free and accessible information has given rise to a hesitant customer whose trust is hard earned. In fact, 57% of their decision-making journey has already been completed on their first contact with a salesperson.
Personalise the Modern Buyer’s Journey
This overload of information and difficulty in winning digital natives as customers has given rise to hyper-personalisation. Now, buyers are used to having their journey personalised, and businesses moving forward without it will find their customers moving forward without them.
Digital giants like Amazon or Facebook track what their visitors are viewing and purchasing in order to offer suggestions based on their likes and interests. Not only does this keep the consumer engaged with their product, but it keeps them coming back… and not cancelling their subscription!
It gets more complex, as it’s even possible to personalise experiences according to country of origin, language, nationality, or any captured detail that you might have of your visitors. You can read lots of resources on how to personalise your website, but what’s for sure is that digital personalisation has begun to replace the need for a personal one-on-one with an eager local salesperson.
The modern B2B buyer is cautious, studying all their options before making a buying decision, which means that you need to work within their digital parameters to make a personal connection.
Digital Transformation: What are Your Modern Marketing Tactics?
Inbound vs outbound marketing? If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably taken a good look at traditional marketing and noticed that it’s failing to work as promised. Not too convinced? Just take a look at these statistics illustrating the declining success of traditional marketing methods:
The reason for these unsavoury trends isn’t anything specific, instead it’s simply the result of humans evolving and changing our behaviour. We’ve become digital natives. As the numbers divulge, your modern buyer actively steers clear of outbound marketing activities and looks rather for a personalised experience that speaks to their digital language.
Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like when you put the inbound marketing playbook into action:
Step 1: Generate Valuable Offers. Creating valuable website pages, blog articles, social media messages, and other content pieces, which are optimised to drive qualified leads to our clients’ sites.
Step 2: Invite your Ideal Buyers over for a Cup of Content. By making available the valuable content you’ve created for your ideal buyers on your website, your business gets found by those who are already actively researching solutions, such as yours.
Step 3: Nurture the Relationship. Buyers who eagerly engage with your content are entered into a lead nurturing process that encourages them to progress along the sales funnel. The process is automated to progress at a pace that is comfortable for each prospect, from passive browser, to active buyer.
You could say that “the inbound marketing philosophy employs a contextual methodology that helps you to adapt your promotional activities to the needs of your ideal buyers”. If you want to know more about digitally transforming your business in this scope, download our eBook below.